• Lexus will launch its first production electric vehicle (EV) this year.
• The UX 300e is based on the luxury brand's small crossover.
• The EV is a batter electric with a front-axle mounted motor and a battery located under the floor. It has a claimed range of 315km.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Lexus' first electric vehicle is a crossover. It's one of the fastest growing segments in the automotive sector and more manufacturers are developing electric versions of their small SUVs.
The Japanese luxury arm of Toyota's UX 300e made its debut at China's Guangzhou motor show in 2019 and will go on sale next year in Europe.
It has not been confirmed for local introduction. Locally, the brand offers a hybrid derivative of its UX crossover and enjoys a strong market share of hybrid models in the country. The company sold 147 hybrids locally in 2019.
"Expanding the UX 250h line-up was a natural extension for the Lexus newbie, which has been a sales driver in the local market for the brand. Lexus has furthermore enjoyed a good market share for hybrid sales over the last year. In 2019 Lexus commanded a 39% market share of all hybrid and electric sales in the premium sector," says Glenn Crompton, Lexus sales and marketing vice president.
The fully-electric UX is underpinned by the Toyota's new global architecture c-segment platform, or GA-C. It is also used for the Prius, Rav4 and the Corolla hatchback.
Image: Lexus Media
The UX 300e has one electric motor located on the front axle that produces 150kW and a healthy 300Nm. It also have a 54.3kWH lithium ion battery that's located under the floor for a better lower centre of gravity that gives it a claimed range of 315 kilometres.
Lexus quotes a 0-100km/h time of seven and a half seconds and a top speed of 160km/h. Lexus has fitted the wheels of the 300e with Formula 1-style gurneys to reduce the amount of drag.
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The spindle grille features flaps that close to reduce drag and conserve energy aimed at increasing range. The engineers have fitted the 300e with a sound symposer that replicates the noise of acceleration of a normal internal combustion engine model. This function can be activated by the driver.
It's a significant model for the company as they look to carve out a piece in the growing EV crossover segment. In Europe, the UX 300e will face stiff competition from the Volvo's XC40 Recharge and Volkswagen's upcoming ID.4.
Compiled by Sean Parker
Image: Lexus Media